Team Blogs


Team Blogs

Wine investment can work

My previous post highlighted the many scams associated with wine investment. However, wine investment can work provided certain conditions are met. Please note that my comments concerning the tax position relate to the UK only.   It is crucial to buy the right wine from the right vintage at the right time and price from […]

A Winery on Vancouver Island

My husband Michael and I spent last week at a family reunion on Vancouver Island. Along with the beautiful scenery, the island has a burgeoning wine industry, and I wanted to take a half-day to visit at least one producer and taste his range of wines. We were staying in the island’s capital, Victoria, and […]

Chartogne -Taillet – a grower’s view of a well- tended vineyard

  Alexandre Chartogne is one of the rising stars of Champagne, a protégé of Anselme Selosse. Alexandre’s family had been vignerons since 1687 in the north west of the Champagne appellation at Merfy in the Massif St. Thierry above Reims. This beautiful district was famous for the quality of its wines in the 19th century […]

2017 Loire Vintage now underway

The last week of August has seen the start of the 2017 vintage in the Loire. The Ban des Vendanges for Muscadet (the official start of the harvest) was on 30th August, while picking in Anjou-Saumur for sparkling wine started a couple of days earlier. Langlois-Chateau started picking their Pinot Noir on 28th August. Although […]

Wine and Food at the Edinburgh Festival

My husband and I recently spent a week at the Edinburgh Festival, interweaving going to Monteverdi operas with having lunch at some celebrated restaurants. We booked two of them, both of which have Michelin stars, several weeks before driving up, and all three turned out to be part of one organization. On our first full […]

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment  By Jim Budd How to protect yourself against wine investment scams and similar scams.  Wine can be a worthwhile alternative investment providing you buy the right wines at the right price and the right time from a legitimate company. Unfortunately like a number of other alternative investments it […]

History of Wine part 3 – Rome and Pliny, The Early Wine Connoisseur

Although the Greeks did differentiate between wines geographically – wine from Lesbos was of a certain quality, for example – true connoisseurship apparently had to await the Romans. Here, my hero is Pliny the Elder, who is probably remembered primarily for being killed in 79 AD by the eruption of Vesuvius. But in his own […]

Big wine + flat screen TVs seizure – Jim Budd reports

          Report from Kent Police on an alleged large distribution fraud – wine and flat screen TVs:       Policing news  Goods recovered in fraud investigation fill four lorries 24 Jul 2017 Items including tens of thousands of bottles of wine and the latest flat screen televisions have been seized by […]

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles Introduction Tuscany in central Italy is famous for many things – the glorious art, architecture and culture of Florence and Siena, the Tuscan countryside, its beautiful rolling hills and breath-taking villas and, of course, its food and wine. In terms of wine, […]

A weekend in Oporto

A weekend in Oporto By Gary White The city of Porto (O Porto = the port) in north west Portugal is the country’s second city and famous for its historic connections with Britain and association with the port wine industry. The city is popular as a short-break destination for Brits, especially wine appreciators who like […]

Veuve Clicquot’s New Extra Brut Extra Old (EBEO)

Heritage & Innovation  Michael Edwards provides details of a special new multi vintage blend from Veuve Clicquot and tastes some equally remarkable old vintages.     Extra Brut Extra Old previewed this April in London and Edinburgh is a modern, intricate expression of Veuve Clicquot’s 200-year old core heritage, ever since the great lady herself […]

Romania and Its Wines

Romania as a wine-producing country is a conundrum. As a quantity producer, its history stretches back to its position as Dacia, a province of the Roman empire, but as a quality producer, its history must be measured in decades, not centuries. In the 19th century, it suffered the same phylloxera devastation as the rest of […]

History of Wine part 2 – the Greeks

In many parts of the ancient world, such as in Egypt, wine was drunk primarily by the kings and the upper classes. In Greece, however, it was drunk by everybody. It played an important role in The Odyssey of Homer, in Odysseus’ fight with Polyphemus. Odysseus relates how he had saved from harm Maron, a […]

The History and Culture of wine

So who first invented wine?  It is probably more to the point to ask, who first discovered wine?  It is not difficult to make it.  On the outside skin of the grape is the yeast and on the inside is the sweet juice:  mix them together, leave it for a few days for the yeast […]

The first edition of Loire Millésime: 19th – 22nd April 2017

I have recently returned from the first edition of Loire Millésime organised by Interloire. It was based in the now magnificently restored Abbey of Fontevraud (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbaye_Notre-Dame_de_Fontevraud). We were lodged in the attached Hotel de Fontevraud (www.fontevraud.fr/Dormir-a- Fontevraud/l-hotel), which has also been extensively renovated and greatly improved since I stayed there some 12 years ago. Enjoying […]

Viva Portugal, Portuguese Grand tasting – Tuesday 4th April

A report from the annual trade tasting by Gary With great anticipation, many of us hot-footed last Tuesday to the annual Portuguese trade tasting in the RHS halls in Victoria. As the WBTL Portuguese writer, as always, I found this an absorbing event: a chance to meet old friends, practise my Portuguese (!) and of […]

Belcanto delivers – worthy of the Michelin 2 Stars

Gary White reviews Belcanto Belcanto is the stand out restaurant in Lisbon and possibly Portugal. It is not cheap at all – and makes London’s Michelin restaurants look affordable – but it was recently voted in the top 50 restaurants in the world – with justification I feel. All staff speak English at this very […]

GAILLAC, AN AREA OF HISTORIC GRAPES AND UNUSUAL WINES

            The wine area of Gaillac in South-West France surrounds the cathedral city of Albi, east of Toulouse and north of Carcassone. Cut through by the Tarn River valley, it is a landscape of rolling hills and plateaux. As befits an area which saw extensive warfare during the Albigensian Crusade […]

Michael Edwards gives his verdict on “superb” Burgundy 2015 vintage

The Côte d’Or in 2015 had one of the warmest summers in recent years. But unlike the arid heat of August 2003 when the temperature at night didn’t fall below 40 degrees C, August 2015 was blessed with cool nights and gentle rain at the beginning and end of the month. In truth, the best […]

Consumer demand sees China’s wine imports up by nearly 20%

A further sign that China’s middle classes are opening up to wine is that the latest wine import figures that showed there was an impressive near 20%  jump to US$1.77 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to latest figures from the China Association for Imports and Exports of Wines and Spirits. The […]

Jim’s First Blog

Here’s a sneak preview of Jim’s first entry that will go into the 10th edition of Wine behind the label Domaine de la Bonnelière (Saumur-Champigny/Saumur) www.labonneliere.com High quality 37-hectare family domaine but not one of the most fashionable names. Based in Varrains the domaine was founded in 1972 by André Bonneau and now run by […]

A Small but Focused German Tasting

I’m responsible for the German section of WBTL, and its recent publication was a signal to begin work on the next. My first duty is to take a close look at the 2014 vintage, but I also wanted to look at some producers which are not yet discussed in the guide. Because the organising principle […]

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